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Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Go Cite Yourself

One of the more frustrating techniques that various people employ on the Internet is to demand citations after you make an argument.

The primary reason is because such people, usually trolls or paid agitators, have zero interest in the actual citation.  In fact, most of the time if you provide a citation, they will ignore it or quickly discredit it by nitpicking some obscure fact from the source.

The other reason I find it grating is that these assholes could easily pull up a search engine, like Google, and search for the citation themselves.  I’m not writing a goddamn graduate thesis online, I’m just making an argument.

And here’s the thing: if I’m wrong, you cite where I’m wrong.  I’m not arrogant or myopic in my assertions and I am willing to abandon them in the face of contrary evidence.  For example, I once believed that the self-esteem movement was created by left-wing communists but it turns out to be have been the brainchild of Nathanial Brandon, an Objectivist philosopher.

A tiny reason has to do with ego.  I usually know what I’m talking about when I make assertions, like when I mentioned that Wal-Mart lobbies for food stamps, which someone tried to debunk on Facebook but ended up actually searching for my assertion and found me to be correct.  So I get annoyed when people demand my proof because the facts I cite contradict their precious snowflaked worldview.

So when people demand I make a citation, I usually treat them like a troll because I don’t have the patience to deal with idiots like that.

Use a search engine to verify it.  If I’m wrong, you cite the source.